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Berserker Imperial Stout - Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Berserker Imperial StoutBerserker Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

766 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 766
Reviews: 224
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 8.97%
Wants: 826
Gots: 207 | FT: 21
Brewed by:
Midnight Sun Brewing Co. visit their website
Alaska, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  12.70% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
Vicious and viscous, this menacing brew pours opaque black with a creamy maduro-colored head. Its aroma offers seductive whiskey, chewy red wine, dark fruit and lavish tobacco. Berserker Imperial Stout invades your taste buds with in-your-face flavor. Weighing in at almost 13% alcohol by volume, Berserker is completely out-of-control. Give it a good fight. Berserker Imperial Stout was aged in both red wine and whiskey barrels.

Original release of Berserker was at 10.4%, subsequent vintages have gone upwards of 12.7%. When reviewing, please list beer vintage and that vintage's specific ABV.

30 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-13-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 766 | Reviews: 224 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Pencible
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This poured an opaque pitch black with a little bit of very dark tan head. It smelled like molasses and brown sugar, with some sweet bourbon and milk chocolate and cream and raisins. It tasted like caramel and molasses and brown sugar, with some roasted coffee and cream and maple, and a bit of milk chocolate and alcohol. It was slightly thick with a bit of carbonation, and had a bittersweet aftertaste with slight alcohol warming. Overall this had a great scent and taste with good body. However, the alcohol was a bit noticeable, which combined with the bold taste to make this a sipping beer. I didn't notice much oak taste, and it was much sweeter than most stouts. But this was still a fantastic brew that will probably improve with further age. (I forgot to check if this was the 10.4% or 12.7% version.)

Pencible, Dec 31, 2009
Photo of pwoods
4.22/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Unclejedi for sharing this bottle.

22oz. brown bomber poured into a taste glass.

A: Deep black that lets very little light in. Good sized dark mocha head on the pour, a bit spritzy but retains. Some lacing.

S: Nice light alcohol with plenty of rich barrel flavors. Vanilla takes a back seat to big molasses and alcoholic dark fruits. A nice smoky line going on.

T/M: The alcohol is a bit bigger in the mouth but not huge. The barrel is nice and bit but still on the lighter side on the vanilla, which is a nice change of pace. More smoke and molasses with some tobacco and plenty of dark fruits. Body is full with low carbonation.

D: Definitely a slow sipper but very inviting.

pwoods, Dec 28, 2009
Photo of msubulldog25
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle, the 2009 release (12.7% ABV, 30 IBU), notched at 'A[ugust]'/'1' for the 'Month & Week bottled:'. Bottle came straight from the chilly fruit cellar (40-45F ?), poured to a snifter after dinner on Christmas Eve.

'Ale Brewed with Molasses and Maple Syrup and Aged in Oak Barrels'. Thanks to Seattle BA Beerzebub for adding one to a trade, then more thanks to Beaumont Market for stocking some and saving a couple for me. Cheers, Jon & Justin!

A: Pours the requisite charcoal darkness, maybe a little thinner because of the brownish tinge at the edges - let's call the color 'maple syrup'. First time in the glass, a pretty caramel-orange head of tight fizz expands to about 1-finger; it falls within seconds to a sprawling film and slender ring. Later pours lessen the effects of both. No lace to speak of.

S: Popped the top and the first essence wasn't coffee nor chocolate nor any of the sugary sweets listed as adjuncts - it's smoke, a charred woodiness that hints at pipe tobacco. Sniff after subsequent sniff, different aromas rise: there's the molasses! Fudge! Raspberries! Cafe au lait! Maple (with BACON)! Vanilla beans! Smells nice, real nice...

T: 'Chocolate over berries' is my immediate reaction, a mild tartness like blackberry/chambord and a roasty/acrid bitter cacao. Sweetness isn't as much at the forefront as expected (with syrup and molasses as ingredients); the vanilla and subtle oak flavors add more nuance. Layer upon layer, a fine Imperial Stout.

M: Body isn't quite as thick as anticipated and feel is sorta slick and viscous, like -well- maple syrup? Sure it's smooth, carbonation mellow. Not a 'hot' booziness nor blatant 'barrel' woodiness, just a subtle warm glow.

D: At 12.7%, this latest release is a good bit stiffer than the 'mere' 10.4% monster listed above...this one grows more 'berserk' every year, I guess. As such, sip with caution - it's a treat that'll catch up pretty quickly. Flavors and aromas are quite good now and I'd be willing to bet they get better given more time. 'Good' now, but glad to have a couple more for 2010 and beyond. Worth recommending!

Merry Christmas (Eve) to me!

msubulldog25, Dec 25, 2009
Photo of John_M
4.55/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Was lucky enough to pick up a bottle at Belmont Station last time out west.

The beer pours a viscuous, blackish brown color with pretty good head retention and lacing. The head on this beer is a rich coffee color, which is typically the sign of an intensely flavored RIS. Likewise, the beer smells pretty good, with an aroma profile consisting of coffee, chocolate, molasses and prunes. Good as this beer smells, the flavor profile is flatout amazing. I get chocolate, coffee, molasses, maple syrup, dark fruits and some light licorise. Nothing is overdone in this moderately sweet RIS, and the restrained carbonation is perfect for the style. Mouthfeel is rich and plush in this lovely beer, and there's a mouthfilling consistency that is just wonderful. The beer has a long, drawn out finish, and drinkability is amazing. You can tell this is a big beer of course, but it's not at all boozy, and I was startled when I saw the 12.7% abv. on the label. Talk about a beer that carries its alcohol very well.

This is an exceptionally well made and delicious RIS. Yummy stuff!

Just recently had the 2012 vintage on tap during Bier Stein's anniversary celebration. I have upped my score accordingly, as the 2012 was a much better beer aromatically (incredible nose of milk duds, whiskey, chocolate, coffee and dark fruits), with a superior mouthfeel and a flvor profile at least as good as what I experienced back in 2009. IMHO, this beer is among the RIS elite (Kate, KBS, CBS, Aybss, Dark Lord, etc.), and is among the best made impy stouts on the planet. Just an incredibly fine beer...

John_M, Dec 20, 2009
Photo of randawakes
4.38/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Now is this beer really outstanding? Yes, get one.

This review is of the 12.7% release, purchased at brewery in Nov 2009.

Appearance: Pours pitch black, with a tan and red head, short as it will be.

It moves syrupy and viscous. You can see this and you can feel it when it hits your mouth.

The smell is of roasted chocolate and baked malt. It might even be baked chocolate like cookies in the oven. It's unmistakable, and will get you ready for the drink.

The taste is remarkable, syrupy, maple, sweet like sugar, and extremely full-bodied. I taste deep malt molasses. The roast probably comes from the oak aged barrels, great beer, highly recommend.

randawakes, Dec 12, 2009
Photo of sprucetip
4.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes. Bomber into Midnight Sun goblet. 08 version (12.7abv) with about a year on it.

Pours black, active, thin dark head fades fast to film and ring. No significant lacing. SMELL fruity boozy esters are strong and dominate up front. Bit of coffee, lots of chocolate, moslasses, some sweet maltyness. More roasty and smoky at the end of the sample. Mostly smooth and complex. Grows stronger as it warms and breathes. Can smell it at a distance upon fresh pour. Alc is all that is out of balance. TASTE fruity (apple) alc flavors, molasses, bitter chocolate, sweet maltyness, some roasty character and coffee. Some bitterness in the finish. Fairly smooth and balanced, very complex. FEEL strong warming, rich full body, and clean-ish finish that is slightly bitter but doesn't go dry like soe many others. very pleasant. OVERALL Stone IRS, Yeti, Speedway, Bourbon County, make room for Berzerker in the club of great Imperial Stouts. At 12.7%, it is a sipper, but booziness isn't commensurate to 12.7%. Each sip begs another. Very bold and strong, but balanced and smooth as well. Glad I've still got an 08, and some 09 mellowing for hte future.

sprucetip, Dec 11, 2009
Photo of mothman
4.38/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

09 Version

Poured into large tripel karmetiet (sp) glass.

Pours about 1/4 finger of burnt orange/red tan head. Color is oil black. Very nice looking beer. Very great head retention.

Aroma: Damn, this is smelling fine. Grapes, chocolate, raspberries, cherries, roasted malts, caramel, vanilla, toffee, oak. Just awesome.

Taste: Wow, the -bal aging has done wonders here. Chocolate, roasted malts, grapes, cherries, coffee, vanilla, and oak. Everything goes together so well.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, and rich. Full bodied. Nice and chewy. A fine amount of carbonation. Ends with a roasted malt feel that brings out a touch of heat.

Overall, a sipper, but a fine sipper at that. This beer is simply amazing. Different with the barrels that were used, but I couldn't get enough of this. I highly recommend this one.

mothman, Dec 11, 2009
Photo of MasterSki
4.4/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got to try the '08 and '09 vintages back-to-back. Thanks to rudylaw and eyebrews for these two I think. This was the last thing I could coherently review at the December 5th Bad Apple tasting event (seems my limit is four beers in an evening). Served in the same mini-pint taster glass thing.

A - Two fingers of dark mocha foam that eventually dissipates to a ring and leaves some decent lacing, especially for such a high gravity brew. My notes say BLACK - I guess it was black?

S - Maple syrup, dark fruits, chocolate, light booze and vanilla, a touch of tobacco and leather. The barrel-aged element is a little understated, which I suppose isn't surprising considering this is a blend of bourbon barrel and wine barrel-aged elements, as opposed to 100% bourbon barrel-aged. Reminds me a little of what Dark Lord used to be like back when it was awesome.

T - Roasted caramel malts, maple, vanilla, bourbon, dark fruits. Not much subtlety here, although the roasty and tannic elements keep this from turning into a sugar bomb. I suppose I shouldn't expect subtlety from a beer called Berserker. There's the slightest sour and earthy element - perhaps from the wine barrel? Nice bitter and oaky finish.

M- Chewy, viscous full-body, light carbonation. Alcohol is present, but not indicative of the full 12.7% listed. Again, a little reminiscent of Dark Lord, but not quite as sludgy.

D - The thick texture and high ABV slow things down a bit, but it still more drinkable than your average 13% brew.

For all you Dark Lord lovers who have been underwhelmed by the most recent releases, seek this one out instead. It has a lot of similar elements, but also the nice twists of the light barrel aging (in both bourbon and wine barrels no less).

MasterSki, Dec 07, 2009
Photo of bmanning
4.78/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks akbeerfiend for this 2009 bottle (12.7%, cool label too).
A: Pours a thick, oily black like motor oil with a thin, dark brown head that sticks around for a very long time.

S: Smell has huge bourbon, vanilla, oak, caramel, molasses, licorice, chocolate chip cookie dough, and a hint of a bold, napa cab with a hint of pepper. Simply divine and I can't wait for the first sip!

T: Wow! Wonderfully complex flavors of dark chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, tobacco, and a hint of spice in the finish. Also, the flavors of the wine barrel (blackberry, blueberry, leather, pepper) really come through strong and match harmoniously with the bourbon barrel qualities.

M: Pretty thick mouthfeel with the perfect amount of carbonation, only knock is that it could be a bit thicker like Dark Lord.

D: I can't put this beer down it's so good. The 12.7% is very well hidden, as it's not hot at all. I want to warm it up a bit, but I find myself drinking so damn fast! Must....wait...a bit...longer....

Nice, it only gets better and better as it warms. This is a world class stout and definitely a top 5 barrel aged Imperial Stout in my opinion. I will be seeking more bottles of this in the future!

bmanning, Dec 05, 2009
Photo of alcstradamus
4.28/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with two fingers of head that is as dark of a brown as you will ever see on a beer. Awesome.

Smell is floral hops, lightly roasted malt, light raisin and prune, pumpkin?, cocoa, and caramel. Nice and complex once you really get your nose in there.

The taste is similar to the nose, with citrus and floral hops being predominant flavors. They rest on top of a nice malt base that isn't overly roasty yet still has some char. Cocoa is deep in the background, and some dark fruit sweetness is also present. Not a gigantic in your face flavor....but rather a nicely balanced, full flavored stout.

Mouthfeel is thick with quite a bit of carbonation. A tad less carbonation and it would be perfect.

This is a pretty damn easy drinking stout for 10.4% ABV. I didn't realize it until I started catching a bit of a buzz from drinking it too fast. As it warms the dark fruits start to come out and make it get better and better. I definitely recommend this stout to veterans and novices both, it is very well crafted.

alcstradamus, Nov 15, 2009
Photo of Overlord
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to a generous trader, who I owe an extra.

Pours a deadly looking shade of black. Liquid burnt charred-ness. Nice. Big tan head.

Smells like a touch of roasted malt, coffee, and wood, with some dark chocolate, and a huge dark fruit backing. Kind of surprising, actually.

Taste is surprisingly woodsy and earthy. Is this a -bal aged beer? Anyway, earthy, charred malt and coffee,, a big dark/roasted chocolate backing, a lip smacking assort of plums/dates/raisins/currantsrosomesortofdarkfruits, and a nice toasty toffee/caramel. Really a very good tasting beer.

Mouthfeel is nice and thick. Nice job midnight sun.

Overlord, Nov 14, 2009
Photo of Beerzebub
4.38/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fresh 2009 bottle, labeled 12.7% abv. Poured in a big wine glass at 54F.

Pours black, and thick looking. Very dark red-brown at the very edge. No head, but an intricately swirled tan film, and a ring of tan froth around the edge of the glass.

Aromas like molasses, burnt green herbs, red wine barrel, and coffee. Some caramel sweetness, but the other elements combine to make the aroma pretty dry overall. Deep and complex, I can't stop exploring this aroma, but it seems a little disjointed. I do like it, and I look forward to seeing if the parts integrate more as this ages.

The flavor is much sweeter than the aroma lets on. The big caramel and prune sweetness is well balanced by coffeelike roastiness, molasses, cola; and dry red wine barrel, but milder and better integrated in the flavor than it is in the aroma. There's some sweet bourbon barrel that I didn't detect in the aroma until I tasted it. Only a little explicit alcohol. The maple syrup that I know is in there emerges after several seconds, near the finish. Interesting to drink, and damn tasty. Long sweet maple-caramel-oak finish, reminding me of tawny port, until finally there is only a dry trace of oak left.

Full bodied and sticky, with fine cushy carbonation. Very highly drinkable.

Great beer, the aroma had me a little worried that it could be dry and disjointed but it wasn't that way at all.

Beerzebub, Nov 12, 2009
Photo of boralyl
4.55/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - This is the 2009 version. One thick beer. Looks like motor oil when pouring it into my tulip glass. Produces a small amount of dark brown head that fades quickly. Beer is completely opaque black.

S - Dark roasted malts, maple syrup, chocolate and molasses. A very malt heavy aroma.

M - Full in body, smooth and creamy in the mouth. Thick in texture with subtle carbonation.

T - Nice and roasted malts up front with a little smokiness. A little bit of wood mixed with cherries followed by some coffee and chocolate. Finishes with some earthy hops and a warming feeling from the alcohol. Speaking of which at damn near 13% it's not really noticeable at all.

A nice complex Russian imperial stout with a ton of flavors to tantalize the tongue. Be careful with this one, it's a beast!

boralyl, Nov 11, 2009
Photo of ffejherb
4.38/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz. bomber into tulip on 10/30/09. Huge thanks to KRAMER17801 for sharing!

A - Exited the bottle an oily black body with perhaps the darkest head I've ever encountered... an extremely burnt, dark brown mocha-colored frothy dome that reduced to a patchy veil, leaving behind some strands of lace.

S - Initial aroma combines chocolate and molasses notes with a hint of soy sauce, a slight meaty character and roasted coffee beans. A hint of earthy hops are buried beneath the complex malt profile and barely scrapes the surface.

T - Flavor is quite roasty with a prevalent coffee presence as well as dark bitter chocolate and earthy hop notes. A hint of smoke and charred wood emerges mid-way, and even some soy sauce creeps into the equasion. The alcohol remains well-concealed for such a monster beer. Finishes with a hint of earthy, herbal hop bitterness.

M - Full bodied with a thick, viscous texture and subtle carbonation, resulting in a very oily mouthfeel. Finishes with a mild earthy hop bite and moderate alcohol heat on the palate.

D - Berserker is about as complex as you can get with an Imperial Stout, and this one remains quite drinkable despite its 10% plus ABV weight. My love for you is like a truck, BERSERKER!!!

ffejherb, Nov 03, 2009
Photo of natasharai
4.22/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 bottle that says it is 12% ABV

Appearance: Poured with a thick creamy head that dissipated quickly and is easily aroused with a little swirl of my glass. The head leaves speckles of lacing on the glass. The beer is pitch black and doesn't let any light through.

Smell: Very sweet, molasses, brown sugar, oak, raisin, some plum and cherry, and a small amount of alcohol in the end.

Taste: Really strong roasted malt, coffee, dark chocolate, slight smoke flavor, a little sweet cherry and plum, small alcohol burn, and ends with a roasty hoppy bitter flavor.

Mouthfeel: Very thick, a bit syrupy up front, nice carbonation, strong bitter tingle, small burn from the alcohol, then leaves mouth pretty dry.

Overall: Decent drinkability, really strong flavors and big bitterness. The smell doesn't really match the flavors very well, neither is better just different. The smell is much sweeter and the flavor is much more roasted and bitter. The alcohol is pretty well hidden but is still detectable, as is expected in a 12% beer.

Thanks AKBelgianBeast!!!!

natasharai, Nov 02, 2009
Photo of rudylaw
4.88/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to alaskajoe for finally ending my long search for this! 2009 vintage, poured into my North Coast snifter. Sampled first in a 10 stout tasting and finished first.

A nearly black pour with a solid 1-2 inch tan head.

Tons of maple, molasses, vanilla and roasted malts in the nose.

All that and then some in the taste. Chocolate and coffee mingle with all of the sweet smells. This is so amazingly smooth and creamy. Reminds me of Kate in terms of mouthfeel and an overwhelming desire to drink this way too fast.

This is easily among my favorite RIS and will be saving my other bottles for special occasions.

rudylaw, Sep 27, 2009
Photo of everetends
4.6/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle that I can only thank Frank's generousity for, a random package full MS goodness is always an O face moment. I have been sitting on this beer for such a long a time and I wanted to save it. Well, I needed some cheering up and my birthday was last week so its Berserker time. Served up in a snifter.

A: Pours a thick very dark black in color. Held to the light, this is nothing but darkness. No light is getting through this one at all, just pitch black. The pour got about a 3/4 finger of head that is just a really nice dark brown, cocoa color. Sadly it falls a good bit to thick ring with some wispy amoeba like formations. You get some light lace on the glass, but most of it slips back into the cap ring due to the slickness of this brew. My only bitch is that I only wish there the head was a bit bigger, more frothy and longer lasting. Otherwise, we are off to an amazing start.

S: As soon as I popped the cap on the bomber, I could smell this thing. Just a huge aroma that fills the area effortlessly. First thing that hits me is a nice and boozy whiskey aroma. its just enough to let you know its there but it doesn't over power like whiskey tends to do. Behind that comes some nice molasses and chocolates. Heavily roasted malt brings a touch of bitterness to the nose but very light. Really good oak and vanilla starts contributing to this nose. There is a touch of a boozy fruit presence that cuts the heavy sugar sweetness a bit. Other notable scents are a touch of leather and a bit of a light nuttiness (pecans maybe).

T: Oh this is quite fuckin fantastic. Lots of nice, heavily and dark roasted malts coming out. Has a nice sweetness to it but also a light smokiness that plays well of the next flavor. That flavor is the whiskey. Light and sweet, but still good and boozy. After that getting some good chocolate, molasses, and just a touch of espresso. Some plum starts to peak through a bit, which compliments so well. There is also a touch of a grape like quality (deep red wine almost), the bottle says nothing about wine barrels but it seems like that might be going down in here. Good amounts of vanilla and oak poke through toward the end. This is great but I think it is slightly lacking in comparison to the nose.

M: Good and full in body, nice and heavy but still easy drinking for the size. Nice and viscous, I mean good and thick. Still slick and smooth, almost pillowy at times. Carbonation is light, allowing this brew to have some good weight. ABV is big in the flavor but not huge in the feel. Just a wonderful, slow building heat in the belly. The ABV doesn't wreck the palate at all. Aftertaste is a touch of grape and some roasted malty goodness.

D: For being a fuggin HUGE beer, this is easy drinking. The snifter emptied much faster than I ever wanted but its still a great thing. Sure I don't have another bottle, but the enjoyment factor of this experience is top notch. I might have found my new favorite RIS. Its just so damned good and well crafted. Just so well put together and everything sits just where it should be. The aroma is the show stopper for me, just amazing. Frank, you are a great man and a lucky bastard for having this around you each year. Stellar beer that derserves some more recognition.

everetends, Sep 22, 2009
Photo of Reswald
4.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber, purchased in Anchorage on 9/5/2009. 12.7% ABV version.

This year, we've got a new label, sporting what I assume is supposed to be a viking axe. The beer pours black and slow, with a small tan head. Talk about mouthfeel! This brew is very heavy on the tongue, almost chewy. "Vicious and viscous" is the ad copy, and Berserker certainly lives up to it! You quickly pick up hints of the molasses and maple syrup that are added to it, along with notes from its aging in oak. This is a massive beer, fully capable of going toe-to-toe with Deshutes The Abyss, North Coast's Old Rasputin, or any of the other great Imperial Stouts out there. At 30 IBUs and 12.7% ABV, this is definitely one to share and sip slowly.

Bottom line: Midnight Sun has done it again. Run, don't walk, to pick up a few bottles of Berserker for your cellar.

Reswald, Sep 10, 2009
Photo of kkipple
3.93/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Khaismus for breaking this rarity out in the middle of a tasting. '08 vintage.

A. At some point, you stop being impressed by how these huge stouts present themselves... even though Berserker nails the looks cold, there ain't much to say that hasn't been said. Real dark brown, rich looking, a generous 3cm head leaves some spotty lacing. Good retention. Yep, another pretty RIS.

S. Big and rich, some hot booze still after a year, but more coffee / cocoa and more than a little earthy at that. Tons of roasted malt, dense sugars, char. Not earth shattering, but quite solid.

T. A hefty and flavorful choco-mocha, Berserker is pretty smooth right now, some vanilla and hops, hint of metal, a bit of tannic grain flavor, but ultimately sweet and lush. Great example of a beer that belies its ABV. This is supposedly 12.7% but drinks like a 10 something. A fine tasting brew in any event.

M. Real smooth. Thick, chewy. Low-ish carbonation, mildly sour and roasty finish. Dessert-like.

D. Not bad, a smooth sipper.

I hate to say it, but Berserker is just above average. Maybe I've been spoiled by all the world class stouts I've had lately. There is really nothing wrong with Berserker, except that it is brewed in Alaska and tough to get. If you cross paths with one, enjoy it, but I wouldn't put a ton of effort into tracking it down.

kkipple, Aug 21, 2009
Photo of ralree
4/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark black, brown head. No lacing.

S: Sweet, chocolate, a little coffee, some dark fruit.

T: Dark fruit, coffee, chocolate, and alcohol. Aftertaste of alcohol and chocolate. Lots of apple/cherry/raisin flavor.

M: Dry, good carbonation, non-astringent, non-metallic. Thick, heavy body.

D: Drinks nicely, but very heavy. Hard to drink a lot.

ralree, Aug 13, 2009
Photo of seaoflament
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Stephen for bringing this nice surprise at the 'You Bring the Cheese Tasting' which took place on July 25-26th 2009. I had this beer before, likely a 07 vintage, and wasn't too impressed with it. This bottle was a 2005 vintage and significantly better than the last time I had this beer

Poured dark, like any other imperial stout, with a quarter inch of foam and not much retention.

The nose was a combination of chocolate, oak, raisins, toasted oak, toasted malts, chocolate malts, dates, prunes, black cherries, "green" barrel aromas, vanilla, still a bit harsh with burnt notes and tannins. Still, the smell is pretty darn good and fresh for an almost 4 year old imperial stout.

Now, the taste is where this one shines. Smooth chocolate flavors upfront, coffee, sweet raisins covered in chocolate and booze, toast, caramel, vanilla, and soft oak. A bit tannic on the finish. Some flavors of black cherries develop later on. Carbonation is on the low side but very smooth and creamy on the palate.

Very tasty beer and I was surprised how well this one has aged but even more impressed that I feel it still has not peaked. I could tell Stephen has done a fine job at cellaring this beer.

seaoflament, Jul 28, 2009
Photo of CoolJosh
4.78/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a tulip. Pours a really sexy, velvety, motor oil black. Vicious and thick per the appearance. Really gorgeous 1 finger head, dark khaki in color, that sits pleasantly on top of the luscious black body of this beer. Lacing drapes the sides of the glass rather nicely.

This beer smells nice, tons of cream and a pronounced Kentucky mash or reminiscent of Jameson Irish whiskey. There is also a nice slight oak scent, and some subtle sweetness that lies in the form of darker fruits.

The taste is near perfect. Tons of roasted bitter malts, predominately chocolate. some chewy raisins, cherry, very well done Kentucky mash, nice oak dryness that bites the tongue rather aggressively. A little bit of a molasses flavor creeps through all of the other flavors and adds to a nice touch of vanilla and some light toffee. Very rich and delectable, and the complexity is there. Awesome beer with a relatively light and creamy mouthfeel.

Rereview 3-28-09
The 'Most Epic F'in Tasting Ever'

Wow, this had to be rereviewed after trying the 09 vintage. Th taste and mouthfeel on this are superb. So silky smooth, without the slightest trace of alcohol. The wine barrel shows a little bit more in this vintage. The smell is remarkable, with the maple syrup adding very nicely. The roastiness in the taste is awesome. I. NEED. MORE.

CoolJosh, Jul 08, 2009
Photo of treyrab
4.55/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to my Alaskan friend for sending me this! Poured into two tulip glasses tonight and split with jac5084. Vintage 2008, 12.7ABV.

A: Very thick sludgy goodness pours out of the bottle into the bottom of my tulip. The gentle pour initially yielded a small head, but a more aggressive pour ended with a one finger dark mocha head that lasted quite a while.

S: Very nice bitter roasted malts meet sweet molasses. Those flavors are all topped off with a nice whiskey/bourbon that complements the scents completely. More of a burnt malt, burnt toffee smell than a fruit smell on this one.

T: Unimaginably good. The bourbon is in perfect conformity with the rest of the beer. The first flavors that hit you are of course the bourbon, and then the burnt roasted black patent and chocolate malts creep in and it finally finishes with a burnt caramel and molasses sweetness.

M/D: The mouthfeel is creamy smooth. I could drink this one every evening if that was possible. Seek out!

treyrab, Jun 15, 2009
Photo of srandycarter
4.03/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 version.

A - Pours pretty darned black. Very dark mocha head, lots of clinging lace.

S - Light coffee and mocha.

T - Nice mix of coffee, toasted malt and cocoa powder. Not really extreme in either direction. Some molasses and soy in the finish.

M - Somewhat creamy, not a full bodied as hoped, good carb and fair balance.

D - Yep, like it. Not my favorite, but I like it.

srandycarter, Apr 22, 2009
Photo of mikesgroove
4.88/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A big thanks to Frank for sending this one my way. I have waited to try this one for literally forever. Served chilled to about 55 and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 04/11/2009.

The pour was fantastic. Rich dark brown, nearly black with a huge tan head that rose up nearly three inches over the top and only slightly settled down as the session passed Tons of rich foam swirling around the glass coated everything in sight with a rich chocolate haze. Intense looking for sure. The aroma was equally as impressive. Tons of molasses, rich roasted malts steeped in coffee. As it warms a load of cocoa just rises up and sucks you in. This one is as intense as it gets for me. I go in for the taste and I am floored. Such a rich, smooth, full bodied explosion of flavor, I am unsure how to even describe it. Chocolate and coffe melded seemlessly together in a huge milkshake like consitency. This is one of the best tasting stouts I have had. Roasted malts just fluttering through and huge notes of molasses and woody like flavors as it fades away leaving vanilla infused coffee notes along my tongue. Soo good. I almost did not want to finish this one it was soo good. Alcohol a mere afterthought as the smoothness of this blows everything out of the water.

I have had nearly every big, bad stout out there, but this one is easily in my top 5. Just such a sweet flavor and smooth feel to it, I really did not think it was going to be this good. Needless to say I am impressed.

mikesgroove, Apr 12, 2009
Berserker Imperial Stout from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 766 ratings.